My Favorite Rose - February 2010

My Favorite Rose— Cecile Brunner, Polyantha by Jan Godfrey, February 2010

Sweetheart Rose was the only name that I knew when I went to look for it at the Goodwood rose sale several years ago. It had been my Grandmamma Lee’s favorite rose. She had planted it right in front of the house next to the garage so that she would always see it when she was coming or going. I’m not sure quiet when it was planted but it was probably in the 1950’s since I cannot remember it not being there.

One of the things I loved most about visiting my grandparent’s house was their gardens. The gardens were mostly camellias and azaleas but the Sweetheart Rose was my favorite because it was almost always in bloom with sweet smelling, lovely, pink flowers ready to be picked.

The Cecile Brunner rose seems to be truly indestructible. For years the rose wasn’t cared for, sprayed for fungus or insects and the amount of sun has changed dramatically over the years. In the 1970’s the house partially burned and Cecil Brunner survived the re-building. Now in 2010 , the rose is still vigorous and my son is the 4th generation in our family to enjoy the sweet smell of these delicate flowers.

Cecil Brunner is the reason that I initially became interested in becoming a volunteer with the rosarians at Goodwood and a member of TARS. It really sparked my interest in Old Garden Roses. I adore how easily they grow and how different they look and small.

But, is it Cecil Brunner or Cecil Brunner Spray? I’m not sure, so I’ve taken a few cutting to Bill Kerber so we can see how they grow and bloom.

(Editor’s note: What a wonderful coincidence to have "Sweetheart Rose" in our February issue)

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